the most savage dialogue a character on eldarya had has to be that one time when kero said that lance’s and valk’s parents’ deaths were not enough for him to learn how to respect other people’s pain like my guy literally roasted the living shit out of valk using his own trump card against him, throwing away his ‘my entire family is dead so i understand your pain’ exuse out of the window and if this isn’t what genuine friendship/love is i don’t know what else it might be
Fair warning - this is kinda long? At least for me? ^^ If you’d like some background music - I’ve been listening to this while writing this… thing ^^
The Great Lake is calm today. There’s only a gentle breeze. It caresses Draco’s face softly as he watches the clouds on the horizon. They’re dipped in pink and gold from the evening sun, which has already vanished behind the mountains. Draco can already feel the melancholy rise from the pit of his stomach. He clutches his knees tighter to his chest as his eyes search the sky. When he finds what he’s looking for, he just stares.
The evening star.
He tries to fight down the feeling that’s threatening to overpower him. But it’s no use. On impulse, he turns his head and gazes behind him. Parts of the castle are still in ruins. The teachers weren’t able to restore it completely until the new term started.
Draco doesn’t even know why he returned. He doesn’t belong here. Not anymore. He hasn’t for a while. The breeze suddenly picks up and turns chilly as it ruffles Draco’s hair. He fixes his eyes on the sky again and sighs. His chest feels heavy as the pink and gold slowly turn into a deep purple.
He always liked watching sunsets. Now it always feels like the sun is taking a part of him with it as it leaves, without ever returning it. Leaving him empty and hopeless.
He could just sit in the common room or go to bed early, instead of torturing himself like this. But, Draco reckons, he’s a masochist that way. He doesn’t deserve anything anyway.
Draco startles as he hears footsteps behind him. He briefly closes his eyes, irritated that somebody is interrupting this moment. He isn’t in the mood for company. He’s been avoiding pretty much everyone since the start of term.
He hears the intruder shift beside him, sitting down on the grass next to him. When Draco opens his eyes, he isn’t surprised to find Potter there, mimicking his pose. Of course it’s Potter. The git tried to talk to Draco several times. He confronted him, tried to argue with him. Then, even worse, he wanted to apologize to him, said some pretty drippy stuff, too.
Draco is having none of that.
“I’m really not in the mood to talk, Potter,” Draco says through gritted teeth.
“Who says we have to talk?” Potter retorts.
Draco raises an eyebrow at him. What is he playing at? Why else would he come out here?
Draco shivers as another breeze catches him off guard. It’s almost dark now. And with the darkness comes the desperation. The nightmares. Draco can barely keep a straight face at the thought. He scowls and balls his hands into fists.
He doesn’t want Potter to see him like this. Him of all people. Why can’t he leave Draco alone like the rest of them? Why is he insisting on making it harder for Draco? Is that it? Is he just trying to punish Draco for everything he did?
When Draco gets up a few moments later, Potter doesn’t move. He doesn’t look at him. Draco huffs as he makes his way back to the castle, cursing under his breath. He can’t be angry at Potter anymore. Not in the way he used to anyway. It’s a new kind of anger that’s coursing through him. It’s mixed with shame and regret.
Most of all, Draco is angry at himself. It’s all he can think about most days. He endures classes without listening to the teachers, he wanders the corridors without making eye contact with anyone. He rushes out of the Great Hall after dinner, grateful he’ll be able to do some more self-loathing in solitude.
When Draco makes his way to his usual spot by the Great Lake the next day, he sees Potter already sitting there. His stomach twists and he briefly considers turning around and walking away again.
No, Draco thinks. He will not back down like that. He’s been a coward for so long. He won’t give Potter that kind of gratification.
Potter remains silent as Draco seats himself next to him. What, now the git is respecting Draco’s wishes? Draco is tempted to snap at him, but he suppresses the urge and stares out at the Great Lake instead.
An hour passes and still neither of them speak. Draco feels all the warmth in his body slipping away from him again as night-time approaches. If Potter notices the change in Draco’s posture, he doesn’t let it show.
They walk side by side back to the castle, parting ways when they reach the Great Hall.
A week later, Draco finds himself sitting in his usual spot, looking frantically around for Potter. Why isn’t he here yet? He’s been here every single evening. Is he not coming today?
Draco isn’t even sure why he wants Potter to show up. They still haven’t said a single word to each other since Potter came to sit with him the first day. So what difference does it make really, if Draco is sitting here on his own?
It makes a hell of a difference, Draco realises, as the sun vanishes behind the mountains again. He hasn’t really noticed before, but the desperation hasn’t been that overpowering these last few days. Now, however, it hits Draco like somebody has slapped him.
He stays out longer that night, wallowing in self-hatred.
His mood doesn’t exactly improve when Potter does show up the next day. Draco ignores him, feeling hurt, while
being confused about why he’s feeling hurt.
Potter plops down on the grass and sighs.
“Sorry about yesterday. I had to finish my Transfiguration essay.”
Draco doesn’t look at him and only snorts. It’s meant to be an act of indifference. Somehow, Draco is almost sure it comes across as something entirely different.
But Draco has to admit, the second Potter sat down beside him, it felt like a huge weight has been lifted off his chest. He doesn’t understand why or how, but he knows he has Potter to thank for that. The thought makes him cringe.
But maybe it’s time to get over himself. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that Potter has helped him. Is helping him. Saved him. Is saving him right now.
Draco doesn’t want to talk about the past. But maybe saying it once will be enough. Saying it once to the person he’s dreaded talking to the most.
Draco takes a deep breath and opens his mouth. All words leave him. He doesn’t know where to begin. He clamps his jaw shut again and berates himself for being this stupid. He tries again. He inhales sharply, turns around to Potter, his eyes wide.
Potter meets his gaze.
“I know,” he says. Draco blinks. He holds his breath unconsciously, waiting for Potter to go on.
“I know, Malfoy,” he simply repeats. And he smiles. Draco searches Potter’s face for any indication of what exactly he’s telling Draco. His gaze reaches Potter’s eyes and Draco is amazed by the sincere and warm glow in them.
And suddenly, Draco understands. Potter knows. There’s no need for words, for apologies. He knows. Draco isn’t sure if that means he is forgiven. He doubts it. How can somebody else forgive him when he can’t forgive himself?
“You know, you keep watching the sunset, but have you ever bothered to get up for sunrise?”
Draco is puzzled by this sudden question. He simply shakes his head.
“Well, we should change that then. I’ve always liked sunrise much better than sunset,” Potter says. Draco frowns at him.
“I like watching the beginning of a new day.”
Draco wants to roll his eyes at Potter for being so corny, but he doesn’t.
“Would you want to? Watch the sunrise?” With me.
Potter doesn’t need to say it out loud for Draco to hear it. He doesn’t know what to say to that, so he just shrugs.
“Well, sunrise should be around 6:30 tomorrow. Let’s meet at 6 at the top of the Astronomy Tower then. It’s the best view from there.”
Draco almost chokes at the mention of the Astronomy Tower. Potter can’t be serious. Surely he hasn’t forgotten…
“No,” Draco mumbles, looking away. Potter is silent for a moment, probably watching Draco intently.
“You haven’t been up there since that day, have you?”
Draco tries to hide the pain he’s feeling. Draco doesn’t need to say anything for Potter to know he’s right. Draco sees him stretch out a hand from the corner of his eyes, but before it touches Draco, he lets it fall to his side again.
“I think we should go there anyway. It’s in the past, Malfoy.”
When Draco doesn’t say anything, Potter sighs.
“I know it’s not that easy. But I think it’s time to move on.”
Draco thinks about that for the rest of the night, while he’s in bed. It feels like the first time in forever that something’s keeping him awake other than the fear of his nightmares.
However, he’s not looking forward to going to the Astronomy Tower. This is one of the places his nightmares haunt him with. But, Draco figures, he’s been running away from them long enough now. Time to face them.
He knows it’s much too early to go up there. Potter won’t be there for hours. It’s probably around 3 am right now. But Draco doesn’t want to wait any longer. He suspects the longer he waits, the harder it will be.
So he rushes through the corridors, careful not to make too much noise, until he reaches the staircase. He braces himself as he slowly puts one foot in front of the other, his new found courage rapidly leaving him again.
When Draco reaches the top of the tower, he stiffens. Potter is already sitting by the window, wrapped in a blanket, another one lying beside him. He turns around as Draco’s footsteps echo off the walls. He looks tired and thoughtful.
“You’re early,” he murmurs. Draco raises an eyebrow at him.
“How long have you been here?” he asks. Potter smiles softly.
Draco just stares at him, not wanting to believe the implication of that. Has Potter seriously been here all night in case Draco decided to come early, so he wouldn’t be alone? Wouldn’t have to face this by himself? But why would he do that? No, it’s much more plausible that he simply couldn’t sleep, like Draco.
“Why are you doing this… f-for me?” Draco hears himself ask. Potter is still smiling at him.
“Maybe I’m doing it for myself, now that I finally get to be a little selfish.”
When Draco still doesn’t move, Potter grabs the blanket beside him and holds it out to Draco. Hesitantly, Draco reaches out and takes it. He wraps it around himself and sits down next to him.
Like they always do while watching the sunset, they don’t talk to each other. But Draco is now aware that he rather likes Potter’s company. Almost craves it. He finds himself shifting closer to him, until their shoulders, heavily wrapped in blankets, almost touch.
Potter doesn’t seem to mind, so they stay like that.
As the first rays of sunshine tickle Draco’s face, he suddenly feels something soft and warm on his left hand. He looks down to find Potter’s hand resting on his. Draco’s immediate reaction to pull away and scowl at Potter dies as tentative fingers stroke his skin. He looks up at Potter, who is still staring at the sunrise.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it?” Potter murmurs. Draco doesn’t answer. All he can think about is the warmth he feels on his left hand. He looks down at it again in wonder as Potter’s fingers slowly curl around Draco’s hand. Draco lets him. An unfamiliar feeling is suddenly coursing through him, making him frown.
He startles as something touches the crease between his eyebrows. His head snaps up as Potter traces a finger up on Draco’s forehead, effectively smoothing out his frown. His other hand is still firmly curled around Draco’s.
“That’s better,” Potter says, smiling. Draco can feel the corner of his mouth twitching. Apparently it’s showing, because Potter starts practically beaming at him. He slowly lowers his head to the side until it’s buried in the crook of Draco’s neck. Draco instantly stiffens. This doesn’t seem to faze Potter. He lets out a sigh of contentment, which reverberates all through Draco’s body.
The way Potter’s hair is tickling his cheek isn’t as annoying as Draco would have thought and he even finds himself leaning into it. He feels Potter’s hand squeezing his fingers. Draco had no idea such a small gesture could make him feel like this. So Draco squeezes back.
As his gaze wanders over the Great Lake and the rising sun, Draco can’t help but suppress another twitch at the corner of his mouth.